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UD report examines the state of addiction treatment in Delaware

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Delaware Public Media
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This spring, the state is expected to release the latest information on drug overdose deaths in Delaware.

Across the country, statistics show the opioid epidemic has gotten worse, and many people continue to face barriers to treatment.

Earlier this year, students at the University of Delaware Center for Community Research and Service compiled information on Delaware’s treatment options and where the state can do better to reach those struggling with addiction.

Delaware Public Media's Rebecca Baer talks to two people involved with the report.

Delaware Public Media’s Rebecca Baer interviews UD Graduate Research Assistant Emily Loughlin and advocate Jordan McClements about the University of Delaware Center for Community Research and Service's opioid brief.

This spring, the state is expected to release the latest information on drug overdose deaths in Delaware.

Emily Loughlin
Emily Loughlin, University of Delaware Graduate Research Assistant

Across the country, statistics show the opioid epidemic has gotten worse - and many people continue to face barriers to treatment.

Earlier this year, students at the University of
Delaware Center for Community Research and Service compiled information on treatment options available in Delaware and identified how the state can do better to reach those struggling with addiction.

jordan_mclements.jpg
Jordan McClements
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Jordan McClements, a recovering heroin survivor, reviewed the brief from a user perspective.

Jordan McClements, a heroin overdose survivor, was among those who provided feedback on the report. He says policymakers need to embrace “harm reduction,” like needle exchange programs and face the epidemic head-on.

"And I think it’s vital that at the end of that press conference, they at least say you can reach me so we can have a real conversation because until people who have lived experience can interact with policy or be able to touch it, we are the blind leading the blind," he said.

The authors of the report agree there could be more harm reduction efforts. They also found gaps in services for those seeking treatment depending on where in the state they live.

"That would be a really great focus for advocacy and support projects that go forward to make sure geographic access to support and medical care are more equal throughout the state," said UD Graduate Research Assistant Emily Loughlin.

Loughlin says her next project involves studying neonatal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when babies are exposed to drugs in the womb.

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Rebecca Baer comes Delaware Public Media from The Florida Channel in Tallahassee where she covered state government and produced documentary features for the series, Florida Crossroads.